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Flight of the Rosenbergs

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The first half of the tasting ended with a pair of wines from the Rosenberg vineyard, which the estate describes as a “gentle to moderate slope facing east-northeast … a terroir of fairly deep soil, with limestone rocks covered with small parcels of sandstone or flint. The limestone confers power, the clay gives fatness, the sandstone and flint, minerality, subtlety and breeding.”

In both cases, the manually harvested grapes were sorted at the vine and in the cellar, where the whole clusters were gently pressed. The must was allowed to settle for 12 hours, then racked into stainless steel vats for fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Nothing was added except a squirt of sulphur dioxide at the first racking and at bottling. Lightly filtered at bottling.

Alsace 2011, Pinot Gris, Rosenberg, Domaine Barmès Buecher ($31.50, 11655811)
Matured 16 months, 10 of them in demi-muids. Reducing sugar: 11 g/l. 15.1% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
A fairly funky nose off the bat, some candied pear and white peach and a dusting of ashy minerals but mainly hay and straw with flowers in it. Rich and not devoid of residual sugar though coming across as fundamentally dry. The unctuous texture is cut by a current of bitter acidity. Impressive breadth and length. The alcohol adds power but otherwise is transparent. Went very well with some of the cheeses served after the tasting. (Buy again? Yes.)

Alsace 2012, Gewürztraminer, Rosenberg, Domaine Barmès Buecher ($31.50, 11655774)
Reducing sugar: 28 g/l. 12.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Perfumy but not to the point of caricature: rose, citrusy Muscat grape and a hint of honey. Rich and verging on off-dry, though fluent acidity, a mineral matrix and white spice overtones hold the sugar in check. A bitter thread wends its way through the long finish. A beguiling, classic expression of the grape. (Buy again? Yes.)

It says something about the balance of these wines that I was dumbfounded when, post tasting, I learned the alcohol content of the Pinot Gris and the sugar content of the Gewürz.

MWG April 14th tasting: flight 3 of 6.

Written by carswell

July 24, 2015 at 11:48

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